Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mermaids and Ships in Bottles - in memory of dear Alfio



I've been painting.  And collaging.  This is the final piece for Lilla Rogers' fourth week of Assignment Bootcamp.  The theme was nautical and the palette was pretty much this - predominantly acqua with hints of blue, neutrals and accents of tomatoey oranges - some of my favourite colors.
My Father-in-Law recently passed away and when my husband and I were clearing out his office we came across these - literally within days of starting this project. They're grappa bottles (one of them with a ship inside!) and a little wooden boat that my husband made with his Dad when he was a child.


Alfio was devoted to his holiday home on the Italian island of Ponza and every day in August he'd be out on his little boat in the crystal waters surrounding the island, diving for shellfish, then spending the evening on his terrace playing the mandolin and drinking grappa with his lifelong friends.   It was so fitting to draw and paint part of his grappa collection with a nautical theme in mind - the very quintessence of my children's beloved Nonno.  It was very easy getting into the spirit of the project simply by imagining the paintings hung on the wall of his house.
When I started painting the bottles,  Isadora had just finished school for the Summer and was lounging around between the TV, the iPad and my phone while I worked.  I was in despair and was delighted when she sat down to paint with me.  I didn't imagine she'd do this though!!!  My jaw dropped.  She's nine!!



In the meantime, I was doing this.





These canvases are really small - post card size would you believe?  In a couple of weeks we'll be going to Ponza to scatter Alfio's ashes in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Ponza and Palmarola (an island that is a completely unspoiled paradise near Ponza and a place very dear to Alfio's heart).  I'll take our paintings and put them in the alcove in the living room.  I think they'll look nice there and I'm sure Alfio would have liked them - especially Isadora's.
Here are some pictures of him on his boat and at the house with my children.  Aren't they lovely.






19 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Vicky! Your father in law sounds like a nice man. Its a beautiful relationship between kids and their grandparents. Its something they treasure all their lives. I'm so glad you got to honor his memory through. Great art by you and your daughter!

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  2. This is such a heartwarming post, Victoria! What a wonderful tribute to your father-in-law. And please tell Isadora that her artwork is beautiful, too!!

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    1. Thank you Katie - I will! She'll be really pleased you said that! xx

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  3. What a wonderful post! Your father-in-law would be so proud and honored.

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  4. I love this post!! Heartfelt loveliness...great stories, people and art. So happy you and your family had Nonno in your life. Wishing all of you the best. Special hugs to your sweet daughter who is just bursting with artistic talent and joy :o)

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  5. wow beautiful.. tears coming to my eyes. a wonderful tribute to Nonno Aflio!

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  6. What a lovely tribute to you father-in-law. I LOVED all of your nautical pieces/sketches and your mermaid wall art was my favourite of all the final art ;-)

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    1. Thank you so much Susan! That's a lovely compliment! xx

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  7. Great post along with beautiful pieces, from you and your daughter! I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes...

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  8. By Alfio you mean like the God Neptune!!
    I loved watching Alfio dive into the waters of Ponza with his spear and hunt octopus.
    Un beso old friend

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    1. Ah Mark - that's a lovely way to remember him! xxxx

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  9. Lovely post, Victoria. I remember you telling me about your dear father in law in May. Beautiful photos and such beautiful work by Isadora!!! Wowzers! :)

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